Well, I don’t know about you, but it seems like we went from worry about dry grass and wildfires to making fires indoors in a one, hot minute. Welcome Fall – it’s here! That’s the funny thing about seasons, they come whether we’re ready or not – and I mean that both literally and figuratively.
I’ve gotten such great feedback from so many of you about the last few week’s theme on connection and creating Circles of Support. I love hearing your stories, your frustrations, and your experiences as you try to expand circles. If you missed the series, you can find the most recent one here.
Today, I want to talk about what to do when you need to set boundaries with people in your circles; or when you need to remove people all together from your close circles. Let’s talk about saying “no” to people and obligations.
It’s something we can all get better at doing. Especially when it comes to toxic people in our lives.
The last several years, my motto has been
“I’m not trying harder than _____ in this relationship.”
Try it on. It’s hard at first, but you get more comfortable, I promise.
And I don’t mean that we can’t all have bad days. I don’t mean that there won’t be times we carry a little more than a person we love and care about. But what I AM saying is that we should NOT carry it all, all of the time.
All of the work.
All of the love.
All of the burden.
All of the tending.
All of the concern.
That’s not what relationships are for – that’s what a therapist is for when you need healing. That’s what your doctor is for when you’re not well. It’s why you confess to your priest or pay a lawyer for services. But that’s not a friendship or a partnership.
In Alcoholics Anonymous, they say “‘NO’ is a one-word sentence.” I say, yes to that!
Can you volunteer for x? No.
Can you take on this project? No.
Can I ask a favor? No.
Can you help me with ….. No.
Can I take from you without giving back? Absolutely no!
And you don’t have to explain, apologize, excuse yourself, or provide any explanation. Sure, you can try other versions of “no” that feel more genuine to you, like….
No, Thank you.
No, I cannot.
No, I’m not available.
No, this won’t work for me.
Or simply, no.
And then let it go. See what happens. Notice how people respond. I promise you this: Their response says a WHOLE LOT MORE about them than it does about you.
Could I say more? Yes. Am I going to?
Tell me how you say “no” or why it feels hard for you – I’d love to hear from you.
PS – Please join my newest Facebook group called Parenting with Intention. It’s an amazing community of supportive, honest parents full of love, ideas and honesty.
Want to be the first to hear when Dr. Amy’s parenting course opens up again? It’s getting rave reviews! Join us here